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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathAkerman

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deliberately confusing the registers of signification and sheer information (meaning, content) and those of expressivity and affect (rhythm, tone, etc.) Akerman's litany-like dialogues seem to challenge Brecht's dictum on expressivity: «The three levels—plain speech, heightened speech and singing—must always remain distinct and in no case should heightened speech represent an intensification of plain speech or singing of heightened speech.» [22] One might consider an alternate model for Akerman's treatment of text: Samuel Beckett's a-logical permutations and minimalist repetitions and, in film, Bresson's flattening of his characters' delivery in repetition and monotone.

Bresson as a Point of Reference

Through repetition, first in rehearsal, then in numerous takes, Bresson weaves a cinematic texture that recombines and intensifies sound, movement, and framing. As opposed to Brecht's eclectic collages (a technique best represented in film by Godard's montages of materials and voices, which tap different channels of rhetoric - interview, documentary, visual text, etc.), Bresson prizes the intensification of


elements affected by a homogeneous texture: his subversive linearity and enhancement of diegetic sound privilege metonymic displacement rather than metaphoric association. [23] According to P. Adams Sitney’s lucid distinction between a geometric style (Kubelka, Eisenstein, etc,) and a linear one, Bresson «concentrates on those figures of cinematography which produce a sense of fluidity and condensation and avoid strong rupture and interjections.» [24] He pursues an aesthetics of homogeneity. Bresson collapses the notion of automatism—as a natural, unthought process—with the processes of repetition inherent in cinema and cinematic reproduction. His project is to make both body and performance conform to the mechanical order of cinema, with its power to fragment and recompose. Enforcing cinema's repetitions (rehearsal, successive takes, the very projection of film in the theater) over the model's performance, Bresson suggests an antimetaphysical aesthetics.

Brecht vs. Bresson

The distinction Brecht-Bresson involves a controversy

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